Mystery Solved! A Tale of Snow-Swept Chewbacca, Bantha Tracks and Me

By Consetta Parker

A long time ago from an Indiana farmhouse really far away, I joined the Official Star Wars Fan Club. I remember being concerned that galactic deliveries wouldn’t find their way to our Rural Route address, but my Mom assured me that if it truly was the “Official” Star Wars fan club not to worry.

I would anxiously await for our mail to be delivered to see if anything had arrived for me. The first time I received mail with a return address including the words “Star Wars” I screamed out loud with joy and relief that my Mom was indeed right. They had found me. Repeat: They found me!

One of my favorite things was receiving Bantha Tracks, the official newsletter of the official club. I could hardly wait to see the pictures, interviews and pre-production news each issue held. I remember when editors started featuring the “Art Gallery’ with artwork of all kinds submitted by fans from all over the world. I had absolutely no artistic abilities (and still don’t) but I was determined to do my best to create something so fantastic that they’d have to include it in the newsletter!

My quest began and I brainstormed in my room for days trying to decide what I could draw, sketch or color that could be good enough to warrant being chosen for Bantha Tracks. While going through my Topps The Empire Strikes Back trading cards suddenly one stood out: “Snowswept Chewbacca.” (Topps used “snowswept” as one word.)

Armed with a dime-store paint brush, a pack of eight water colors, a piece of construction paper and my Mom’s encouragement, I began to paint. I stood in our basement using our old freezer chest as a table and carefully created my heartfelt Wookiee masterpiece. My mom returned with an envelope addressed to Bantha Tracks. “Give your Chewbacca time to dry. We’ll mail him off tomorrow.”

Months went by. Each new issue of Bantha Tracks that came featured all types of great Star Wars fan art…but not mine. More time passed and my hopes were all but gone until the Fall of 1984. As I scanned through Issue number 26 of Bantha Tracks I saw a familiar face: Up in the corner of the art gallery was my painting!

But my immediate joy soured when I realized that all the other pictures had artists’ names included. My heart sank as I called out to my mother. “Mom! I forgot to put my name on the back of my painting! My Chewbacca doesn’t have my name on it.” As tears came, I heard my Mom try to comfort me by telling me it was OK because I knew it was mine and that’s all that mattered. She was right, but I admit that over the years I’ve often thought of my Chewbacca painting and wondered how I could have possibly forgot to put my name on it. I felt like I’d sent a friend out into the world without a way home.

Cut to 30 years later. During a recent gathering of the Rancho Obi-Wan Board of Directors, we were all chatting before our meeting began. Somehow Bantha Tracks came up and the memory of my painting popped into my head. I muttered something like “You know, I had a painting featured in Bantha Tracks once, but I forgot to put my name on it.” Fellow friend and board member Pete Vilmur looked at me and said “What?! Have you ever mentioned that before or talked about that in an interview?” Steve then added that I should write about it for our ROW blog! It suddenly all hit me: memories, emotions and hope–hope that my painting and I could finally be reunited after all these years.

I realize it’s not pretty and for the most part, unrecognizable…but it’s mine. That’s MY “Snowswept Chewbacca” watercolor painting in the art gallery section of Bantha Tracks Number 26 from the Fall of 1984! I’ve been waiting 30 years to say that, so thank you for letting me share.


Owner of Parker Publicity, Consetta Parker is head of publicity and marketing for Rancho Obi-Wan. She has over 15 years combined experience in publicity and promotion and has represented a diverse list of clients from film, television, radio and charitable organizations. She has a true talent for “making things happen” in everything she does, whether it’s being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves in her extensive work for various animal welfare organizations or promoting large studio films for Dreamworks and Warner Bros. Small but mighty, Consetta is a force to be reckoned with.

Why Star Wars and Rancho Obi-Wan are Forever

By Consetta Parker

Helping Anne Neumann at a Rancho event
Helping Anne Neumann at a Rancho event

Star Wars taught me at a very young age to believe in my dreams and that magic is real. So if you would have told me when I was 6 years old that someday I’d be working for a place called “Rancho Obi-Wan” that houses the world’s largest Star Wars collection…I would have believed you.

Star Wars has been inspiring people all over the world, perhaps the galaxy, since its 1977 premiere. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just a casual one, you’ve been touched by Star Wars in some way. It has become a part of our society, our culture and our everyday lives. The Force of Star Wars has always been strong—and with the anticipation of Episode VII it will only grow stronger.

Consetta as Boushh jokes around with Steve Sansweet at Comic-Con 2009
Consetta as Boushh jokes around with Steve Sansweet at Comic-Con 2009

As a first generation Star Wars fan it’s been amazing to watch the fan base grow over the years. I smile when I see friends post about showing their children Star Wars for the first time, or seeing a family all dressed as Jedi at Comic-Con. Now, what I look forward to the most is seeing people’s faces as they experience Rancho Obi-Wan for the first time.

I remember what it was like for me when I walked into Rancho Obi-Wan (ROW) for the first time. I was so completely overwhelmed with emotion and joy I started to cry happy tears. Although I wanted to run through the museum yelling “Yub Nub!” I found myself just standing still…looking around…gazing at the galactic goodness that surrounded me and smiling more than I had in a long time ago in a childhood far, far away.

Consetta and Anne pack for a past Celebration event
Consetta and Anne pack for a past Celebration event

Many people ask me what is Rancho Obi-Wan? Yes, it’s a museum filled with the world’s largest Star Wars collection, but it is so much more. It’s not just toys or trading cards. It’s history and culture and memories of a film franchise that changed our lives. It’s a place for everyone to come enjoy, remember and experience Star Wars. It’s a safe environment for everyone to be who they are and share their love of Star Wars with others.

To me Rancho Obi-Wan is joy. It makes me happy. It makes me smile. I’m fortunate enough to be at ROW on a regular basis and I get excited each and every time I visit. I want everyone to be able to experience Rancho Obi-Wan. This is why the mission of Rancho is so important and why ROW is so important to Star Wars. It’s vital that we all support ROW now to ensure it can continue to conserve, exhibit and interpret Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts for generations to come. Star Wars taught me how to believe and Star Wars is forever. I believe that together we can make sure Rancho Obi-Wan will be forever too.

Consetta with client James Arnold Taylor at ROW
Consetta with client James Arnold Taylor at ROW

Owner of Parker Publicity, Consetta Parker is head of publicity and marketing for Rancho Obi-Wan. She has over 15 years combined experience in publicity and promotion and has represented a diverse list of clients from film, television, radio and charitable organizations. She has a true talent for “making things happen” in everything she does, whether it’s being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves in her extensive work for various animal welfare organizations or promoting large studio films for Dreamworks and Warner Bros. Small but mighty, Consetta is a force to be reckoned with.